Sunday Dessert – German Chocolate Cake (Smaller Version)

Since my 86 years have started to catch up with me, I don’t cook as often, particularly experimenting with new recipes that I can share. I do still cook the family holiday meals, though, and every Sunday fix lunch for my two daughters which features a favorite recipe and is followed by 3 hours of various kinds of needlework and chatting. For these lunches, I always make something they especially like from my blogs of over 10 years and I thought it might be fun to share my Sunday desserts each week.

On the two Sundays before Thanksgiving, I try to make something that’s the exact opposite of food we might have on that holiday. This week I went with a sort of German theme with a smaller version of German Chocolate cake as dessert and for an entrée, Reuben sandwiches.

My younger daughter is the only one who loves coconut, so I don’t need a big cake. I adapted my recipe to make this smaller version which is plenty for a lunch serving for the three of us with some left over for my daughter to take home. From my 2012 post:

German Chocolate Cake (A Smaller Version)

2 oz. Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate*
¼ cup water
2 eggs, separated
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
Dash salt
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
½ cup buttermilk**
*To substitute for German’s Sweet Chocolate, add 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar for each ounce of unsweetened chocolate.

**To substitute for buttermilk, place 1 Tblsp. white vinegar in a measuring cup and add enough milk to reach one cup (8 oz.). Let stand 5 minutes before using.

Cover bottoms of three 7-1/2 inch loaf pans with waxed paper. Spray sides with cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate and water on high for 1-½ to 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until chocolate is almost melted. Remove from microwave and continue stirring until the chocolate is completely melted.

Beat egg whites in mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form; set aside.

Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.

In the large bowl of a mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the melted chocolate and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating until well blended after each addition – beginning and ending with flour mixture.

By hand, gently fold in egg whites.

Divide batter among the three loaf pans.

Bake @ 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Immediately loosen the sides of the cakes and allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes.

Remove from pans to wire racks. Remove waxed paper. Let cool completely.

To Make Coconut Pecan Filling/Frosting


2 egg yolks
¾ cup evaporated milk, undiluted
¾ tsp. vanilla
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup plus 2 Tblsp. butter
1-1/3 cups Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut
¾ cup chopped toasted pecans
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, milk and vanilla until well blended. Add sugar and butter and cook on medium heat for 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Add coconut and pecans; mix well.  Cool to desired spreading consistency.

Spread 1/3 of the Coconut Pecan Filling/Frosting on top of one layer of the cooled cakes, top with a second layer and spread its top with 1/3 of the filling/frosting. Repeat with the final layer and 1/3 of frosting. 

This is a wonderfully soft, delicious cake but I had a little of trouble handling the layers even in this smaller size. The cake isn’t picture-perfect-looking, but it sure tastes great.

Also served: Reuben sandwiches – corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut on homemade rye bread, from my post of 2008




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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

9 thoughts on “Sunday Dessert – German Chocolate Cake (Smaller Version)”

  1. You say the cake isn’t picture-perfect looking. Looks perfect to me! I think I’ve put on 3 lbs just looking at it. 😄 The Reuben sandwich doesn’t look too shabby either. I could make a meal out of the homemade rye bread and a cup of tea!
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

  2. Both look absolutely perfect for a chilly fall Sunday! I don’t like coconut, either, but I make the frosting without it, and like it just fine. I’ll have to try this smaller version. I don’t need to be eating the big one! LOL

  3. Thank you for this lovely recipe. My kids hate coconut but I love it so a smaller version of German chocolate cake is most welcome in my house. My hips and my tastebuds thank you.

  4. Looks delicious, love a good German chocolate cake! I haven’t followed any blogs for a long time and I’m so happy to see you’re still at it! I don’t know if I will return to it but am very much enjoying being a Mom to my little boy.

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